SANTA BARBARA — The University of Antelope Valley baseball team came from behind to edge Westmont College, 9-8, in the NAIA Opening Round at Russell Carr Field in Santa Barbara on Monday.
The win helped the Pioneers (35-17-1) extend their record winning streak to 21 games and advance to the tournament winner’s bracket.
“This was a great way to start the Opening Round,” UAV coach Jacob Garsez said in a press release. “I felt we got a tremendous amount of support from our pitching staff as they came through big in key moments.
“Offensively, we also came through in big moments and I’m very proud of our guys for accomplishing step one of the process today.”
Westmont (34-15) tied the game at 8-all on Andrew Bayard’s home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
But UAV responded in the top of the ninth, capitalizing on three straight walks by Westmont pitcher Nick Sablock to load the bases with one out.
UAV junior shortstop Tyler Van Marter drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field. The Pioneers held. the Warriors scoreless in the bottom of the frame to sevure the win.
Junior center fielder Cole Carder started the scoring for UAV, hitting a two-run single in the second inning. He finished 2-for-4 with a two-run home run to finish with four RBIs.
Senior third baseman Nate Broaddus also hit a two-run homer, his 11th of the season. He finished 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.
Sophomore left fielder Brayan Gomez went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs and a stolen base.
Van Marter and designated hitter Kaleyl Anderson recorded two hits and one RBI apiece.
Senior right-hander Tanner White allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts to earn the no-decision in 6.2 innings.
Freshman righty Zach Carr earned the win after allowing three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of relief and sophomore lefty Cameron Heinrich picked up his fourth save of the season, allowing just one hit and striking out one in one inning.
The No. 3-seeded Pioneers will play the Santa Barbara Bracket’s No. 1 seed University of Science & Arts today at 12:30 p.m.